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I really like music and history in general but like most people my knowledge is limited to mostly music from the early 1960s until the current times. I was wondering if there is any book that covers the history of this art from the prehistoric times until the 1990s or 2000s.

Maybe something along the lines on how different instruments and musical styles originated and evolved? If there isn’t anything so big in scope, maybe good books that cover specific genres or instruments?

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closed as off topic by Matthew Read May 2 '13 at 19:43

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Sorry, this sort of broad recommendation question is off-topic. Please see our FAQ. –  Matthew Read May 2 '13 at 19:43
A nice video about the last 400 years of musical history by the King's Singers: youtube.com/watch?v=JXhAz0DOpMU –  11684 May 5 '13 at 10:25

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I can speak to the three texts that covered my collegiate music history classes. They are: Music in the Western World, A History of Western Music, and it's companion text the Norton Anthology of Western Music which also has CD's with example pieces. The Norton is a three volume text, each volume purchased separately. If you want a complete history of western music, you can do no better than these texts. It will take years to get through all of it.

The unfortunate truth seems to be that because of the very academic nature of the study of music history, the most thorough texts exists only for western music, with music from other cultures and popular styles very much marginalized. There are likely a few good texts out there that cover these areas but I am not aware of them.

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